4 - 1
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
Saturday April 2, 2022, 3:00 pm
Combined Counties League Premier Division South
When Storm “Arwen” blew in and prevented Molesey travelling to Jersey on 27th November the fixtures were astutely re-arranged. The meeting that was due to be at Molesey today was reversed and Jersey travelled to Molesey for a midweek match in mid-January.
Molesey sat bottom of the division with a 2-6-26 27-110 record, well adrift of safety and having played more games than any other team in the division. However, one of those wins was an outstanding one. It was against front runners Beckenham Town, who at the time were otherwise unbeaten in the league.
Molesey were relegated from the Isthmian League in 2008 but they won the Combined Counties Premier in 2015 to regain that level, only to be relegated back down again in 2019. In 2019-20 they were lying sixth when the season was curtailed but were thankful 2020-21 was abandoned as they were then in bottom place with a 1-1-13 record and it would appear that has only delayed the inevitable.
Their ground, Walton Road, West Molesey is situated south of the River Thames, just a mile or so from Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace. Molesey’s ground was also one of the locations used in the Bend it like Beckham film made in 2002.
Jersey were returning to Springfield after four weeks away, during which they played seven matches. Unfortunately, only one of these resulted in a win leaving Jersey now resigned to playing for third place.
Still without the injured quartet of Jay Giles, Luke Campbell, Fraser Barlow and Ruben Mendes-Pestana, Jersey made three changes to the team that started on Wednesday. Frank Tobin, Kamen Nafkha and Kieran Lester coming in for Jonny Le Quesne, Adam Trotter and Karl Hinds. Trotter was on the bench alongside Jake Prince and three of the U23 squad. These were recent debutants Jack Lumsden and Josh Daniels, plus Darryl Mvalo who was looking to emulate them.
On a sunny afternoon registering 10C, but feeling less due to the north-easterly wind, Jersey kicked off attacking the Oxford Road end.
They were soon in the ascendancy. Sol Solomon blazed over the bar and Lorne Bickley, under pressure from a couple of defenders, shot just wide after a good one-two with Lester.
A well-placed throw from near the right corner by Tobin played in Francis Lekimamati towards the byline. Despite the narrow angle his well struck cross-shot found the top left corner to give Jersey the lead with his debut goal.
Sean McDonnell, the Molesey striker, had two chances within a minute, before Joe Kilshaw doubled the lead, also with a maiden goal. A Lekimamati cross to the far post was only half cleared and Kilshaw was the quickest to react. Managing to get the ball out from under his feet, he hit a curling shot in to the bottom left corner.
The third goal arrived after half an hour. A Jack Cannon corner from the right was met in the middle, but was heading wide for a goal kick before Solomon cleverly kept the ball in play with a backheel. At the near post Molesey’s Alec Sykes stuck out an arm and the inevitable sanction was delivered. Solomon took it and just beat the right arm of the diving Matthew Willett.
Bickley had two more chances before half-time which arrived with Jersey still holding their three-goal advantage.
On the resumption Lester was put clear down the left channel before hesitating and being dispossessed. A long ball forward from Sykes was met by Mohamed Dafallah on the left wing. He advanced, cut in, and saw his shot from twenty yards finding the bottom left corner past the despairing dive of Euan Van der Vliet, to reduce the deficit.
Just beyond the hour Solomon played in the newly introduced Jake Prince, who had replaced Bickley. His low shot was blocked by Willett’s legs and when Prince did “score” shortly afterwards he found assistant, Andrew Liddicott’s, flag raised. However, it was soon to be third time lucky for Prince, as set up once again by Solomon, he found the bottom left corner from near the penalty spot.
Mvalo made his debut, replacing Lekimamati. Shortly afterwards Prince had an angled shot cleared off the line by a defender and he was profligate again in added time. Nevertheless, Jersey finished comfortable winners, moving up to fourth position, but will face much tougher opposition on Tuesday when table topping Beckenham Town are the visitors.
Jersey Bulls 4 (Francis Lekimamati 11, Joe Kilshaw 18, Sol Solomon pen 30, Jake Prince 69), Molesey 1 (Mohamed Dafallah 50)
Attendance – 815
Programme – £2, 24pp (double issue with Beckenham Town next Tuesday)
Jersey Bulls – Euan Van der Vliet, Frank Tobin, Jack Cannon, James Queree (c), Sammy Sutcliffe, Joe Kilshaw, Francis Lekimamati, Kamen Nafkha, Lorne Bickley, Kieran Lester, Sol Solomon
Substitutes – Darryl Mvalo (for Lekimamati 78), Jack Lumsden (for Nafkha 63), Adam Trotter (not used), Jake Prince (for Bickley 56), Josh Daniels (for Tobin 87)
Red/White/White; GK All Yellow
Gary Freeman (Manager), Kevan Nelson (Assistant), Dan Seviour (Coach), Richard Hebert (GK Coach), Ciaran Pack (Physio.)
Molesey – Matthew Willett, Josh Nichols, Adaini Carrera, Alec Sykes, Dan Choules (c), Ben Smith, Ayoub Dafallah, Harlem Bouchez, Sean McDonnell, Lui Edwards, Mohamed Dafallah (Dafallah’s are brothers)
Substitutes – Harvey Pitt (for A.Dafallah 72), Malachi Barnett (not used), Carlos Suarez (not used), George Brett (for Nichols 78), Josh Turner (for McDonnell 54)
All Light Blue (white trim to shirts & shorts); GK All Light Green
Peter Doherty (Manager), Craig McManus (Coach), David Pearce (Physio.)
Referee – Harry Yellen (Sutton) 6th season officiating, initially in the Surrey County League, now in his third season in the Combined Counties League. His first Jersey fixture.
Assistants – Wayne Ingram (New Malden) on the dug out side. In his 25th season, having started in the Gloucestershire Senior League. His sixth Jersey match having twice before visited Springfield, both in 2019-20. On the line at Colliers Wood United in the League Cup and at Knaphill this season. Andrew Liddicott (Godalming) on the grandstand side. Initially with the Army F.A. at Aldershot but since 2015 with the Combined Counties League. Was on the line at Raynes Park Vale earlier this season.
Cautions – Euan Van der Vliet (JB) 86 (time wasting)
Corners – Jersey Bulls (4) 6, Molesey (2) 3
Player of the Match Award (commentator) – Kieran Lester